Almost every night, or very early in the morning, a little voice wakes me up from a deep slumber.
“Mummy, I wet the bed,” my almost-five-year-old tells me.
Now I know my son isn’t the only one delivering this most unwelcome news to his sleepy parents. Night time bladder control isn’t something he or many of his peers will develop for a while yet. But for the love of god, I am so over washing his linen!
Here are six things I’ve learnt the hard way from my little bedwetter so far (my friend warns me her son was still wetting the bed at 12, so I am quietly scared).
1. Night nappies can leak
I still sometimes slap a nappy on my little love in the hope that we’ll get a full night’s sleep. While this does happen some of the time, it’s not a sure thing. My little wee machine still manages to wet the bed, even while wearing a nappy. Nappy leakage happens, yawn.
2. Before bed wees are mandatory! No. Questions. Asked.
I get all militant on my son about going to the loo before he goes to sleep now. I bribe him with a bedtime story, I sing the ‘wee wee’ song in an effort to make going to the toilet fun and I get my cranky mum pants on when these two things don’t work. In short, I use every trick in my mum-book to make him go, because I know our entire household’s sleep is hinged on me hearing a trickle in the toilet before he hits the hay.
3. Beware of the before bed drinks
I now know that if I so much as give my boy a sip of water before bed that it guarantees a bad night. He’s too tired to wait for it to go through his little system and wee it out. When his thick eye lashes have closed before I’ve even had a chance to say, “Go to the toilet sweetheart,” I know I’ve done my dash.
4. Get him drinking during the day
I realise now that the best way to avoid my little guy from tanking up on water before bed because he’s thirsty is to keep the fluids up during the day. Yes, I am that mum at the park who continuously shoves a water bottle in her child’s face while saying, “Here, have a drink of water”.
5. Mattress protectors MUST be waterproof
It’s one thing to sleepily pull the sheets and mattress protector off the bed at 3am, but it’s quite another matter altogether when I’ve had to clean and painstakingly absorb wee from an expensive mattress – and then heave it outside the next day to be sanitised by the sun. These days I now own a stash of mattress protectors with plastic waterproof backs to save me the trouble.
6. Towels may as well be sheets at 3am
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve stripped the bed, only to discover the sheets I washed that morning are still on the line outside and there are no more in the linen cupboard. Rather than brave the night, I’ve taken to laying a towel down on my son’s mattress instead. At 3am, he and I are both too tired to notice the difference.
7. I can never have enough bedding
Which brings me to my last point. There comes a time for every mum of a bedwetter when she realises she just needs to buy more sheets/quilt covers/quilts/ mattress protectors, even pillow slips aren’t immune to a little one who sleeps all topsy turvy and is in the habit of urinating everywhere. So. Much. Wee.